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By plarge in WorkshopWoodworking





Introduction: Backlit LED Lightbox Sign

By plarge
More by the author:
About: I''re going to make a professional LED backlit lightbox for whatever logo, business name, or design you can imagine. Has this been done before? Yes of course, it''s the case? I searched the website forever and scoured the many tutorials, but found most to be a bit pedestrian. I don''s make something that will stun your clients and elevate your hand work!

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Step 1: List of Materials

Sadly I didn''ll try to be thorough. I know it seems like a lot, but I built this project for under $100 in supplies (it'' pine board from Home the 1 last update 2020/08/06 Depot x 1Sadly I didn''ll try to be thorough. I know it seems like a lot, but I built this project for under $100 in supplies (it'' pine board from Home Depot x 1

5 meter 5050 LED light strip/controller/power supply from Amazon x 1


1 can of primer (I suggest the following, it goes on clean and smooth if you take your time)


1 quart of flat black paint (or whatever color you require for your project)

1 can of white spray paint or 1 quart of white latex (high gloss)

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 1 can of clear coat lacquer

1 paint roller handle and covers (4"" depending on the size of your project)

1 plastic paint tray

1"" low profile wood screws


2 saw tooth hangers (plus hardware) for mounting


Wood filler

Wood glue

1 flexible putty knife the 1 last update 2020/08/06 or scraper1 flexible putty knife or scraper

1 screwdriver

1 sander handle


a few sheets of sandpaper (I think I used around 160 and 280 grit) numbers aren''s time to figure out the final design. I had an existing high res file of my work''t need Photoshop) and I carefully cut them out with my exacto blade. Then I laid them out on my plain mdf sheet. I used the T square to create a line near the bottom to make sure everything lined up cleanly. With a pen I traced the letters out staying true to the design''s important! Once you''s not the point, you get to test your hand skills and see if you have what it takes to keep your lines clean! I started by clamping the piece down to my sawhorses. Next was to pre-drill as many relief points as possible for the cut outs. I always defaulted to the inside of my lines and error-ed on the side of caution. Remember, you can take away but you can''ll notice I have some floating "" in my design. You can approach these 2 ways. The 1st being creating "" similar to the style done with stencil artwork. The 2nd (and my chosen method for this project) was to cut them out entirely, and support them from the back of the project so as not to alter the original design in anyway. The wood gets very wobbly in weak spots with a jigsaw, so I cut the islands out before anything else. Afterwards I slowly and carefully cut the remaining pieces out, paying special attention to stay within my lines as I mentioned before.

Step 4: Create Your Frame

The next step is to cut out your frame from the 10''s worth mentioning I had an even 3"" on each side) less than the front piece. By doing this, I can sand down the overhang to create a flush smooth edge.

I used my chisel to create an overlap rabbet edge in the side pieces of the frame. This was cut to 3/4"" deep to accommodate the top and bottom pieces of the frame. Don''s time to make sure everything glows correctly. Luckily enough mine did, and worked like a charm. You can see in the 1st few photos I tried it without the front islands in place. The video will show the islands in place and doing their job beautifully.

The photos have some weird shadowing from my overhead lights. On some pics it even looks like there are different colors or like it casts an uneven light. In person this is not the case. She glows bright, evenly, and without any noticeable difference in the lighting.

Step 15: Secure the Back, Fill, Then Paint

Next up is to add the back piece and clean up the edges, similar in fashion to the front. I inserted the remaining screws, then filled with wood putty on all edges except the bottom. If the LEDs ever fail, I wanted to know where a seam was so I can break the filler with a razor and remove the back (which is why I screwed it instead of gluing it like the front). When it dried I once again sanded down to a smooth surface, then finished rolling on the black paint.

If you''s because I didn''ll most likely notice from the photos that I have a nail and a screw in each of them (another fail). This is an important lesson to drill pilot holes and use high-quality hardware (because I broke 2 screw heads while installing). I didn''re not pretty, but thankfully they hold tight and are unseen.

Step 17: Attach to Your Wall

Last thing to do is add screws to your wall and attach the final piece. Even though it''t come down unexpectedly. Play with the LED controller, find something amazing; and make sure to remind everyone that it used to be a tree until you created a masterpiece!

Good luck in creating your own!!!

Papa LRG

Runner Up in the
Make it Glow!

Participated in the
Wood Contest

1 Person Made This Project!

Did you make this project? Share it with us!


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10 Discussions


Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 3 years ago

Awesome! I'' x 3' light box for some photography work. This is my first attempt at something like this though so not sure if edge light with LEDs is going to work well enough. Thoughts anyone? Or is there a better way to light something that large?


Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 5 years ago on Introduction

If the design is large enough, space the hangers on 16""js-edit-container""hidden-replies-link js-show-replies""2""icon-arrow-down""post js-comment reply hide""CZCZYBQI21RFFK5""S6ZTYTKI1WH889I""MP9IHC0HDYZI878""C10PCSQI21RASJI""post-header""meta""votes js-vote-count hide""avatar""/member/plarge/""lazyload""https://cdn.instructables.com/ORIG/FAZ/839Y/HNXRZZPX/FAZ839YHNXRZZPX.jpg?auto=webp&frame=1&crop=1:1&width=48""/assets/img/pixel.png""plarge""https://cdn.instructables.com/ORIG/FAZ/839Y/HNXRZZPX/FAZ839YHNXRZZPX.jpg?auto=webp&frame=1&crop=1:1&width=48""plarge""posted-by""author owner""/member/plarge/""icon-arrow-right""replied-to js-reply-parent""/member/GrumpyOldGoat/""posted-date""step-link""#intro""toolbar js-toolbar""btn reply-btn js-reply""btn btn-default vote-btn js-vote-btn""text js-text""js-edit-container""post js-comment reply hide""C6H39LRI236JYKV""S6ZTYTKI1WH889I""MVYBDQEOYAEY6E37VC""CZCZYBQI21RFFK5""post-header""meta""votes js-vote-count hide""avatar""/member/GrumpyOldGoat/""lazyload""/assets/img/default/user.TINY.png""/assets/img/pixel.png""GrumpyOldGoat""/assets/img/default/user.TINY.png""GrumpyOldGoat""posted-by""author""/member/GrumpyOldGoat/""icon-arrow-right""replied-to js-reply-parent""/member/plarge/""posted-date""step-link""#intro""toolbar js-toolbar""btn reply-btn js-reply""btn btn-default vote-btn js-vote-btn""text js-text"" numbers.
The wife never decided where she wanted it mounted.
Now we are selling the house.

BUT! I may make it if the new owner wants to pay for it.


5 years the 1 last update 2020/08/06 ago on Introduction 5 years ago on Introduction

Nice,I have a perfect place for this project.

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Thank you

Ricardo Furioso

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for 5 years ago on Introduction

Your typography is excellent, as your craftsmanship.

Thank you for sharing.

Great the 1 last update 2020/08/06 project.Great project.


5 years ago on Introduction

Lighting from the sides, no big worries about hot spots as from the back of the text/image. Do you find that the light is brighter on the edges vs. center of your text or images? Guessing the size of the text/images would make a differences in your design. Your sign looks awesome, love the craftmanship and attention to detail.


Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Great question Sandray!

What you say is true concerning the lighting and design correlation. I left a minimum of 3""js-edit-container""post js-comment""C8BLCI6I1XEMJFC""MQA7QC0HLJUFTOB""post-header""meta""votes js-vote-count hide""avatar""/member/watchmeflyy/""lazyload""https://cdn.instructables.com/ORIG/F8D/MNRS/IT4OBRIV/F8DMNRSIT4OBRIV.jpg?auto=webp&frame=1&crop=1:1&width=48""/assets/img/pixel.png""watchmeflyy""https://cdn.instructables.com/ORIG/F8D/MNRS/IT4OBRIV/F8DMNRSIT4OBRIV.jpg?auto=webp&frame=1&crop=1:1&width=48""watchmeflyy""posted-by""author""/member/watchmeflyy/""posted-date""toolbar js-toolbar""btn reply-btn js-reply""btn btn-default vote-btn js-vote-btn""text js-text""js-edit-container""post js-comment""CO961DMI1XX23EK""S6ZTYTKI1WH889I""MU7FLCPI1OU4LRG""post-header""meta""votes js-vote-count hide""avatar""/member/peppypickle/""lazyload""https://cdn.instructables.com/ORIG/FS4/G9FG/I1QXX5JA/FS4G9FGI1QXX5JA.jpg?auto=webp&frame=1&crop=1:1&width=48""/assets/img/pixel.png""peppypickle""https://cdn.instructables.com/ORIG/FS4/G9FG/I1QXX5JA/FS4G9FGI1QXX5JA.jpg?auto=webp&frame=1&crop=1:1&width=48""peppypickle""posted-by""author""/member/peppypickle/""posted-date""step-link""#intro""toolbar js-toolbar""btn reply-btn js-reply""btn btn-default vote-btn js-vote-btn""text js-text""js-edit-container""btn btn-yellow comment-btn js-show-poster""sidebar""ad-block-wrapper""ad-block""gpt-ad-med-rectangle""gpt-ad""ible-stickyad-wrapper""ad-block-wrapper""ible-stickyad""gpt-ad-sidebar-brand""gpt-ad""admin-container""footer""footer footer-desktop footer-workshop""footer-row footer-row-top""footer-robot robot-icon robot-icon-workshop""footer-categories""title""footer-categories-links""circuits""/circuits/""category-icon icon-category-circuits""workshop active""/workshop/""category-icon icon-category-workshop""craft""/craft/""category-icon icon-category-craft""cooking""/cooking/""category-icon icon-category-cooking""living""/living/""category-icon icon-category-living""outside""/outside/""category-icon icon-category-outside""teachers""/teachers/""category-icon icon-category-teachers""footer-about-us""title""/about/""/create/""/jobs/""footer-resources""title""/sitemap/""/id/how-to-write-a-great-instructable/""/contact/""footer-find-us""title""instagram""https://www.instagram.com/instructables/""Instagram""svg-icon svg-share-instagram""pinterest""https://www.pinterest.com/instructables""Pinterest""svg-icon svg-share-pinterest""facebook""https://www.facebook.com/instructables""Facebook""svg-icon svg-share-facebook""twitter""https://www.twitter.com/instructables""Twitter""svg-icon svg-share-twitter""footer-rule""footer-row footer-row-bottom""footer-links""footer-links-list""http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=21959721""_blank""divider""http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?siteID=123112&id=21292079""_blank""divider""""divider""http://usa.autodesk.com/legal-notices-trademarks/""_blank""http://www.autodesk.com""adsk-logo""blank""Autodesk""/assets/img/footer/autodesk-logo-make-anything.png"/>